Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside

The Sea Inside was a very compelling movie and it's heartbreaking to know that someone actually went through life as Ramon did. I liked the movie a lot. I can't imagine what it would be like to live life as a quadriplegic. I think that Ramon's request was valid. Even though i believe that suicide is wrong, someone in as much pain as Ramon should be able to make their own choice. I think that the friends who agreed to help him really did love him. They wanted the best for him and wanted to help carry out his wishes. I think that the people who refused to help him loved him too but in a more selfish way of love.

Both Ramon and Jean-Dominique were quadriplegic but they had their differences. Well first off, Ramon still had movement in his head and was able to speak where as Jean-Dominique was only able to blink his eye. Jean Dominique also didn't have the same open desire to die as Ramon did. Jean-Dominique understood that he was going to die soon but he had had no wish to speed up the process. I think that Ramon's story was very sad and depressing and talking only in the present where as Jean-Dominique's was more here's how it is now and here's how it was before. J.D.'s story was more powerful for me just for the fact that he wrote the story himself and had to blink out every letter of the memoir.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Final Post

Marya enjoys her school work and finds life as an independent very satisfying. She begins to write for the U's newspaper. Marya starts to mess around with a guy named Mark who is a photographer at the paper. They eventually move in together though there is a 7 year age difference between the two of them. Tensions rise as their relationship progresses. Marya's mom thinks that American University in Washington D.C. is a good place for Marya to go to college. She sends Marya out to D.C to see how she likes it and Marya falls in love with the hustle of the city. She idealizes the fantasy of slipping into the enormous crowd to disappear. Back in Minnesota she and Mark mutually break up and go their separate ways. Marya is living in D.C within the next month. At AU Marya is studying journalism and working on a local political newspaper. Her dorm room mate moved out after a week which was a huge relief since Marya could now have her individual peace. At first, Marya is going out with people to parties or clubs but she becomes more and more of a workaholic which doesn't give her much time for friends and also for food she tells herself. Marya is at one point living on less than 200 calories a day yet she walks to and from her paper's office which is 24 blocks away. Her look is slowly deteriorating and any muscle or fat she once had has completely been eaten away at. Marya begins to have a hard time breathing normally and her heart beat is irregular. One day on the way back form work Marya falls and is unable to get up because her body is too weak. Marya has dropped to 60 pounds. For four days Marya goes to visit Lora in Massachusetts. The two seem just the same as they left off. Lora talks very loudly and fast about what is going on with her life but when she asks how Marya is doing, Marya tends to avoid the question. Marya can't look Lora straight in the eyes anymore since she is so ashamed. When Marya gets back to D.C she is 54 pounds. Marya's mother comes to visit her and when Marya goes to greet her, she passes out. In the E.R. the doctors gave Marya one week to live.

Present day: Marya is still struggling with her image and still constantly scrutinizing her body. She is married to Julian, her adolescent love. He too is not far out of the wrath of Marya's fire as he is the one she questions on whether or not she looks like she's gained weight. Marya will never be completely normal and she has a permanent heart murmur to prove this.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Week 5

At the Lowe House it is always under a patient lock down. All doors are locked, all windows are sealed shut. All sharp objects and sharp edges or corners are made blunt. Marya finds no comfort in anyone but herself but eventually opens up to Duane, a little boy, and Joan, her room mate. Marya was able to stash some laxatives in her room. She never intended to use them necessarily but just the comfort of knowing they were there was enough. Every night the group on her floor gets together to have therapuetic talk and at the end of each session, they hug. Marya refuses to be touched. She blots out of the door as soon as the meetings end. Marya hates any form of intimacy as that reminds her of her own body in which she has so much hate for. Duane and Joan become Marya's saving grace and keeps what is left of her sanity. As Marya progresses, she gains her priveldges back. She eventually is let out of the building to go on walks with group or into town for a shopping trip. Within the next month Marya is premitted to apply to the University of Minnesota as an off campus student. After a weekend of staying at her parents house, Marya comes back a few pounds lighter. The staff suspects laxatives so they search her room and find Marya's stash of unused laxatives. She is put back under full-time supervision. When April comes Marya is 18. She checks herself out of the Lowe house and her her report chart the final notation is : "Recovered?". Marya stays at her parents house which becomes a haven for her binge eating. One night when her parents are out of town, Marya binges uncontrolably to where she consumes every last bit of food in the house, not including the dog food, and makes sure every last bit of food comes back up too. Marya drives tot he grocery store and fills up her cart just so that she can go home and repeat what she's already done tonight, a series of binge eating followed by stick her head in the toilet.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

week 4 Part 2

Marya is admitted to a hospital for the first time. The days are exactly routine and Marya comments that the days blur together so that time is a blur too. The days consist of 3 full meals with snacks between each of the meals and one before they go to bed. Marya dreads meals because the nurses force the patients to eat every bit of their food within 30 minutes and if they haven't finished by the time ends they must drink Ensure which is basically liquid calories. The patients are constantly being monitered, even when showering. Marya's parents came to visit in the evenings. One time Marya's mother came alone and the tensions between mother and daughter boiled. Her family also had to attend family therapy which was an hour and a half of Marya shouting at her father, her father shouting at her mother, and her mother shouting at Marya. As Marya's vitals started to stabilize she was given more freedom and began to attend AA meetings where she slept with a few of the guys in the group. At the end of August Marya is well enough to leave the hospital and move to California to live with her father's ex wife. She is supposed to attend therapy weekly and nutritionists, psychiatrist twice monthly but Marya already has no intention to do so. The house is an old farming house and the driveway is a long dirt road. There are chicken coops in back and the purple sky lights the foothills of Bennett Mountain. Marya is pregnant again but intentionally miscarries it. SHe attends a small school where she meets Julian, who is her future husband. Eating wise, Marya does well for a few months but slowly she begins to fade back into her old ways. She starts to binge and throw up again. She also begins to skip some meals for her "diet". Marya wanders the street at night because of her insomnia. When weighed at her nutritionist she rpoudly sees that she has lost another 20 pounds and is down to the low 80s now. While Marya is considerabley happy about this, TAMS, her father's ex wife, and her parents are not. Marya boards the next plane back to Minnesota. She is again admitted into Methodist hospital but can't stay for long because the insurance will not cover her hospital stay any longer. Marya is now going to be sent to the Lowe house. The Lowe house is a Minnesota state institution for the legally insane.

Week 4 Part 1

page 163:

"Late August. You are pregnant. Again. You knew this would happen. You think, This is God's little joke. God will continue to play this joke for several more years, a cruel reminder that life happens, that the laws of nature will knock you on your arrogant ass no matter how hard you fight. You wait. When waiting is too much, you fall down the stairs when no one is home, an easy dive, belly down. Body still weak enough got such an old trick. Flush the red matter away. No tears. The uneasy guilt and cringe in you chest are not for the baby but for the breasts that are tender, a trace of blue veins, fat. They will shrink, you assure yourself over and over. Shrink."

In this quote Marya uses second person to describe something that is happening to the first person point of view. I think that she does this to show the seperation she feels from herself. The quote is describes vividly the pain she puts herself in even without starving herself.

page 202:

"Sex is not expirenced so much as seen, and this translation of physical experience into intellectual excersize made sex tolerable. Hugs are different, however. Kissign is perhaps more intimate than sex itself. Similarly, hugs imply emotional, rather than sexual, intimacy. They are a gesture from one person to anotehr of nonsexual carign, and the idea of ebing cared for in a nonsexual way was not soemthing I could understand. Contact with another person reminds you that you are also a person, and implies that someone cares about you as such. This felt so profoundly false, and i felt I did not, in any way warrant such a care, such contact. Contact with another body reminds you that you have a body, a fact you are trying very hard to forget. "

Marya is deathly afraid of intimacy in any form. The things she can tolerate, like sex, are when she feels least connected to her body. Marya has described earlier that when seh is having sex she feels as if she watching from across the room, not expirencing it first hand. The importance of this quote is recognizing that she recognizes her own fear of the body and its emotions.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Let's face it, Jean-Dominque Bauby, the former editor of the French magazine, Elle, and the author of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly really didn't have the ideal last year of his life. From the time of his stroke in December to his death nearly a year later, there really isn't anything worse then him having been diagnosed with "locked in disease". With this disease Bauby had no movement what-so-ever except being able to blink his left eye, and really how much worse can it get? Though through out the book, Bauby tended not to focus on the negatives of his limited life, but instead to focus on the beauty of the mind and the eloquence of thought.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was, to me, touching but at the same time made me long to reach out to help Bauby even though there is nothing we can do now. His book will always amaze me in the fact that he took the time to blink out every word in his memior. This goes to show the determination that we all have inside us. I believe that Bauby wanted to write this book as his one last project of his life, to have this book to always be remembered with.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book though the ending left me unsatisfied. What I would have wanted is more of a conclusion to his work, and his life instead of leaving with just a subtle "See you later.." kind of ending. There are many things that i wish had been included like more of what his life was as a child or his relationship with his career. I would like to say that I pity Bauby, but really pity sounds more as if I am looking down on him when really I look up to his ever-hopeful spirit and his dauntlessness against fate.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 3 Part 1

Over the summer, Marya got a job at McDonald's. Marya is excited to finally leave Edina for boarding school feeling that she is now Grown Up. She fantisizes about coming back home a whole new person with long legs, high cheek bones dusted with blush and of course extremely thin. Marya's mother is still as apethetic as ever even telling Marya that maybe she could lose a few pounds. Before she leaves for boarding school, Marya takes a trip with er chior class to the Far East. It's there that she falls in love with another girl on the trip who is also bulimic but she doesn't act on these feelings. At the end of the summer Marya leaves for Interlochen, Michigan. When she arrives to her dorm room, she learns that she has a roommate. Lora had long red hair, was "all legs", and very energetic. Marya began to began to go days with just crystal light flavored water. She also began running. Marya would run 5 miles up tp 5 times a day and still eating less than before. Lora and Marya became extremely close. Soon Marya began to chian-smoke in order to replace cigarettes with meals. After a while she was only eating once a week on Sundays, a bowl of rice. She began to habit into saving food in a box. In the box were stale crakers and rubbery carrots. The reason she kept them was just to know that they were there, just in case.When walking
to classes, Marya began having a hard time breathing and occansionally would faint due to the lack of calories in her body. When Interlochen has an end of the year dance, Marya has a hard time standing and starts to cough blood. A week later Marya faints when walking to a class. Her mother and father are called and Marya is sent back to the Twin Cities with just a week left in school. Back in Minnesota, Marya is sent to Teen-Age Medical Services(TAMS) clinic. She sees a doctor that tells her that she in anemic, that she has ketones in her urine, her blood pressure is unstable, that her heart rate is pitiful and needs to be hospitalized immediately. She was checked in with A. Bulimia nervosa (w/ anoretic features) B. substance abuse C. major depression.

Marya Hornbacher was born on April 4, 1974 in Walnut, California. At age 5 she moved to Edina, Minnesota. At age fifteen she attended a pretigous art school, Interlochen. She was hospitalized a year later. She was in and out of treatment for the next three years until she moved to Washington, D.C to attend college at American University. That winter she was admitted to the hospital with one week to live. Later she married her best friend from her teenage years, Julian. Julian and Marya divorced after the publication of Wasted which Marya wrote when she was only 22. She now lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Jeff Miller and their two cats. Marya has only wirtten one other published book since Wasted, The Center of Winter. She is now working on her second memior which deals with the aftermath of her eating disorder and her coming of age. She also is recognized for her reviews of the arts.

Week 3 Part 2

There are many strengths in this book. One of them being Marya's way to dictate her story without over shadowing a certain thing too heavily. I love the way Marya adds interludes at the end of every chapter that relates what she is going through at the time to her present day life. A few weaknesses of Wasted would be that Marya focuses too much on detail. It gets to the point where I skip lines or paragraphs because this is the third time that she's described how she dissects her carrot so she can make her meal last an hour. I have a hard time reading Wasted in some parts because i get so overwhelmed with the reality of an eating disorder. The thought of someone starving themselves voluntarily makes me realize how miserable and desperate a person can be. I used to think that eating disorders were vain and shouldn't be treated as an actual disease but this book is starting to bring more light onto the effects of eating disorders and the reasons why people develop insecurities. At this point I honestly don't think that Marya is going to get better and she's not going to take measures in her own hands, she's already a lost cause.